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Thread: American Coffee Cupping, Melbourne, Saturday 4th May

  1. #1
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    American Coffee Cupping, Melbourne, Saturday 4th May

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All,

    I've decided to refurbish my quest roaster and give roasting a try again. I have always believed it is critically important to benchmark against as many reference points that people think are good as possible and have spent 15+ years buying and trying coffee from across the world, so on my recent vacation to the US for a friend's wedding, I bought the Hoos and Rao roasting books and a bunch of US coffee to try. The coffee that I have bought is pictured below and includes some of Hoos' coffee (at different extremes of development levels) to give some context to his book. There's also a Mexican grown and roasted number in there that's a bit of a curio.

    I am going to cup all of these coffees at my place on Saturday 4th May in the afternoon when I get back, with a group of friends, many of whom roast on quests. I can probably squeeze one more person in on this if someone would like to join us. PM me for details; I'll check in a few days. I sort of ummed and aahed about whether to make this invitation public, given that I have such limited space, but I ultimately decided that I'm keen to encourage the development of a community of people who learn together by critically evaluating coffee, so having limited space is not a good reason to hold back. The logistics of space at my place and the amount of liquid our cups will allow us to have sort of dictate the number of people that can attend before it becomes unpleasantly crowded.

    We will probably do at least two, maybe three, flights of coffee, which will include the US stuff and whatever people want to bring along. So there might be up to 18 coffees all together and it should be done within 2 hours (I like to crack the whip). We will do the traditional cupping method, but with a slightly finer grind - the cups should probably end up between about 21% and 24% extraction after half an hour, depending on what grind setting decision we make at the beginning of the session based on what all of the roasts look like. Everything will be single blind (ie. we will know what the coffees are, but not which order they are in, so we won't know what each cup is as we taste it), though I am toying with the idea of doing the guess and reveal before the final pass so that people can still look for things in the cups whilst they are warm. Because everything is single blind, this is a good opportunity to benchmark home roasts, since any critiques won't be based on preconceptions. I suspect we will zone in on anything that we perceive as a roast defect and discuss how it might be able to be fixed based on Hoos and Rao's books (and probably how much stock we put in Hoos and Rao's books, too). For what it's worth, I got to taste Rao's roast development kit at MICE and it was a good demonstration of fundamental roast defects.

    Again, I'm sorry that I'm not able to offer this opportunity more widely, but I sort of needed to get a move on, given that the US coffee is ageing as we speak.

    Finally, I hope that this post is OK by CS - apologies if I've transgressed a rule.

    Cheers,
    Luca
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  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Wonderful idea Luca and a terrific offer...

    I'm sure a lot of CSers would love to take the opportunity; you're probably going to be inundated.

    Mal.
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  3. #3
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    Indeed Mal! That's a terribly generous offer from Luca!

    I was lucky to be one of his guests for two of the events he hosted - in one of the events, we had 8 different Geshas side-by-side on the cupping table. What an extravagant experience! Luca is also a Q-grader so for me the biggest learning experience was to be able to calibrate my palate in group tasting (tasting the same coffee and try to describe them). So it was not all about delicious coffee, but also loads of fun meeting other CSers/coffee enthusiasts too.

    Obviously I will be going to this as well (made sure to clear my schedule for this! ). Can't wait to taste the coffees that Luca will be bringing from the US.
    Last edited by samuellaw178; 27th April 2019 at 03:28 PM.
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  4. #4
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Lucky bugger...

    Mal.

  5. #5
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    Hey guys,

    Luca told me there are going to have some extra naturals eg. the CS Ardi and Mochas We will probably have enough stuff to push it out to three flights of about 5-6 coffees each.

  6. #6
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    Hi guys,

    Malaysian has had to pull out from this, so there is a last minute spot up for grabs if someone is around and wants it. There's also a very slim chance that we might have a Decent Espresso machine going, too.

    Cheers,
    Luca

  7. #7
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Hi All,

    We had this cupping and it was great fun; pity Malysian couldn't make it. My Decent Espresso machine didn't arrive in time, but I have it now.

    I thought I should come back and post a quick note on what we learned from the cupping. We ended up doing three brackets of about 16 cups total, so I had to crack the whip a bit to get us through it. We really focussed the cupping on talking about the roast levels and what we thought about the coffees; we didn't really spend much time discussing any of the roasting theories in the books.

    The most important takeaways were the Nossa Familia coffees, given that Rob Hoos, the author of Modulating the Flavour Profile, is in charge of them. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed to realise, upon arriving home, that the Guatemalan Geisha coffee that I had bought was in a heat sealable bag, but that that bag had only been sealed with a sticker across it, not with an airtight seal. Unsurprisingly, it had little aroma. Well, at any rate we thought that the roast was well balanced, with good body, sweetness and restrained acidity. Whilst we couldn't really get much aroma from it, it clearly had been properly developed and had not fallen into the trap of grassy under-development that some roasters seem to accept in order to have a light roast to market as for filter coffee use. The Full Cycle blend in many respects seemed to be a crowning achievement for them and commanded our respect and attention, despite not being a showstopper. We thought that they had carefully selected a low acid Brazillian coffee to blend with higher acid, clean and washed centrals in order to end up with a predominantly nutty and sweet cup with good body and low, yet crisp and clean acidity. All of this was achieved at quite a light roast level, once again without any hint of grassiness. We ran the blend through the espresso machine and it performed well. I think that, personally, I would probably have developed it a little bit more because the blend performed better through the espresso machine when it tended towards choking rather than gushing and if I had to bet, I'd bet that gushing is probably more likely than choking for a general coffee market.

    Anyway, the upshot of all of that was that we felt that the Nossa Familia roasts were well executed for the stylistic choice of each of the two coffees, which renewed our interest in what Rob has to say in his book.

    I hope posting all of that is OK by coffeesnobs rules; I take it that discussing overseas coffees on the forum is OK.

    Cheers,
    Luca
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